|11/7/2013 2:15:00 PM|
Wildcat boys finish 14th at state tournament
by JEFF NORTON
State Tournament at St. Olaf College - Boys
Three really is a crowd, and it’s a crowd Chisago Lakes Head Coach Ken Orwoll would have liked to be a part of at the boys state cross country tournament last weekend. Orwoll’s team finished in 14th place, one point out of a three-way tie for 12th place with Red Wing and Burnsville. The race was at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Saturday, November 2. “It’s amazing when you race the whole course in a crowd,” Orwoll explained. “It’s so hard to tell which team is ahead of you with 64 individuals running not part of a team.” Orwoll was trying to tally up the points in his head before the race was finished, seeing if the ‘Cats had improved on last year’s 13th place finish at the state tournament. But, when the scores came out, they fell just short.
“Our fifth runner, Jake Schwelling, came in ahead of both Red Wing and Burnsville’s fifth runner, but with so many runners, points add up fast.” Andy Magnuson closed out his decorated cross country career with a 14th place finish in the team portion, 26th overall. The finish left him just outside of All-State accolades, as the top 25 earn the designation. “Andy had a very good day, but came up just one short,” Orwoll said. “The first mile was very fast and he stuck at the back of the lead group. He ran the race very similar to his section race: a strong, aggressive last mile where he caught several runners before the finish.” The time of 16:12 was just one second off of a personal best for Magnuson, and after a half decade as the lead dog for Chisago Lakes, he will be moving on after the race to lower times and bigger things. Zac West finished in 47th place in the team portion with a time of 17:00 race. “He started out faster than usual, but stuck with it and finished hard,” Orwoll said.
Carson Velaski, another senior, went out very fast in the beginning, but began to slow a bit when the second mile hit. He finished hard on the third mile, coming in at 17:18 in 68th in the team competition. The other three Wildcat runners were Nick Bartz, Jake Schwelling and Simon Eddy. Orwoll admitted that he was a bit nervous with those guys since it was their first state tournament appearance. Although, he said all three of them handled it well. Bartz took off with West and Velaski in the beginning, and stuck with the senior throughout the whole race. He ended up finishing just three seconds behind Velaski in 17:21. Schwelling rounded out the scoring Wildcats and finished just one second off of his personal best with a time of 17:28. Simon Eddy came in at 17:41, closing out his cross country career with a near-personal best.
The only girl representing the area was North Branch’s Rhianna Rinke. The freshman improved on her performance from last year, finishing in 65th place in a time of 15:19. Last year, she finished in 88th place in 15:27. “As coaches, we are very proud of Rhianna’s performance, attitude and work ethic,” North Branch Head Coach Tom Kingsland said. “We believe that she has enormous potential and the next three years of her high school cross country career will be very exciting.”